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Is SEO/SEM Appropriate for ALL Businesses?

M

MarkTaylor1968

New Member
Hi Guys,

A number of businesses I know seem to spend a lot of time developing their websites and promoting them through various SEO/SEM techniques. Whilst many of the stats are interesting (eg Google analytics) - there seems to be a lot of time invested just to create traffic - conversion to sales is rare for many.

So, is SEO / SEM the right thing for a new business or is the time better spent on other activity???

Best wishes,

M.
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Hi Mark,

I think you've grasped the fundamental of SEO/SEM in the sense that it actually has to convert to sales. Far too many people chase hits which is a nonsense really. Although some sites who offer advertising will focus on hits I would have thought.

SEO/SEM is just like any other form of marketing, you need to test and measure it to see if it brings a return on investment, it's just like all the other activities you do without measuring how do you know what works best?

I think SEO/SEM should be part of the mix for any new business in that it's something that needs to be tested to see if it could work. I find the subject fascinating in terms of how quickly you can see stats on various different aspects of your site etc.

I would agree as well that it suits some businesses more than others, i've seen certain situations where it just doesn't work and other techniques such as networking, direct mail etc provides a better return. I hope some of my ramblings are useful :)
 

alanbold

New Member
This is a really interesting question. I agree with and feel that seo is only one small part of your marketing mix and that for many businesses, traditional marketing is still more likely to gain new clients. That said, I do believe that seo should not be dismissed but to be successful it takes time and work creating new, quality online content and building inbound links (the 2 key components to seo success) and/or keeping on top of your adwords campaign.

Imagine that because you are chasing seo and not investing time in traditional marketing then you could be losing tons of potential clients however you may gain one client through optimising your website and that client may become your number one client in the future. Life and business is complex so I dont think there is a definitive answer to the question in the title of this post.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Tim Barlow

Tim Barlow

New Member
My usual response to this question used to be "Yes, except for newsagents" on the basis of the fact that if you want a mars a bar, you won't search for it.

However things move on. As mobile search increases even news agents need to ensure that they are listed with search engines (Main step required: register with Google Maps)

Of course it is very possible to spend too much on Search - A
 

Kevin

New Member
I good SEO company will advise you on targeted keyphrases that will convert into more sales, traffic doesnt equal sales, will all depend on your keyphrases,usability and how good your web copy is The great thing about SEO is that its targeted try doing that with a tv or radio ad.
 
M

MarkTaylor1968

New Member
I suppose the more general point I want to make is this: My site has had 950 UK visits in four months with an average duration of 2mins 46secs. Guess how many enquiries I've had? That's right, None! Ok, some of the visits will be people we have referred in to the site as a resource. However, it seems a bit of a dead loss as a way of generating leads. Or am I missing something??? M.
 
Scottish Business Owner

Scottish Business Owner

New Member
Mark,

I see a newsletter signup on your site but no real compelling reason to join. Could you maybe give away a free whitepaper or something in return for the email address. It strikes me the services you offer would tend to mean you build up a pipeline of prospects and you try to take people through this with a sale hopefully the eventual result.

I dont think you can sell this like a product and I think the key is getting people's email address and marketing to them on a regular basis with the hope you can get them into the pipeline. I may also of course be talking nonsense and I can see that you have vastly more experience than me in business :)

I would gues most of your business comes from word of mouth and from networking. Ultimately marketing is just doing more of what works.
 
Tim Barlow

Tim Barlow

New Member
Mark,

It may also be that the 950 figure is over inflated if your stats package does not filter out robot traffic effectively.
 

Kevin

New Member
Its Google's job to bring you traffic but its up to you to convert it you need to have better call to action's on your website until you do that you won't convert, and getting more traffic won't solve it, you will just have more unconverted traffic. It is said about 1% of your traffic converts and that 1% needs to be exposed to your website around 7 times before they do. There are many things you can do to help this have you tried Google’s website optimiser? It a great tool for testing your web copy.
 
frockery

frockery

New Member
This is an interesting thread.

I have used DIY SEO to increase unique visitor traffic, but it took me a while to increase conversion rates as more traffic doesn't necessarily bring more sales if it isn't targeted.

Analytics helped me identify what was being searched for, and refining product descriptions has helped increase overall conversion. It's still a journey of discovery, though. :)

I have found the SEO advice on various business forums invaluable and it has certainly helped me avoid some expensive mistakes.

What's right (and works) for one business may not be right for another and it's a question of finding the most effective marketing mix.
 
Gordon N

Gordon N

New Member
Its Google's job to bring you traffic but its up to you to convert it you need to have better call to action's on your website until you do that you won't convert, and getting more traffic won't solve it
I couldn't agree more Kevin!

I think a lot of people loose sleep over SEO, but as has been said in other posts in this thread - it is just one element of marketing your business. The big downside to SEO is the time it takes to be done effectively, and the time it takes to provide results. For all who DIY their SEO at great expense of time, can I recommend that you consider the benefits of getting someone else to do it for you so that they loose sleep over your campaign not you!

I am in the middle of a huge site make over and marketing drive just now, and decided two days ago to spend more time on my SEO research this time round - and I am still at it!! Pushed out a midnight shift last night (yawn!) so I know how long it can take...

In summary, I believe that any business with a website will benefit from an SEO campaign as traffic is essential in converting and raising awareness. The size of the campaign, and the time spent on the campaign are specific to the business type and the importance placed on a web sourced customer base. To actually convert visitors to customers/leads you need to have a site that 'closes' for you (your SEO/SEM cannot do it alone),so this bit is down to both your and your web designer's ideas and skills.

My word, I don't half drone on do I! Sorry folks... ;)

Regards,

Gordon
 

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